Intravenous IV Vitamin C
IV Vitamin C for Cancer and Other Conditions
When I was in medical school, as well as my specialty training in cardiology; I too expected the answer to be all problems to involve all complex treatment with pharmaceutical drugs. While I had been aware and appreciated the value of nutritional support, I was in all of the high tech world that has been evolving.
I would now like to tell you about Vitamin C.
PROMOTING COLLAGEN FORMATION STRENGTH
Vitamin C is one of the simpler compounds found in nature. Most people are aware that vitamin C promotes collagen strength, makes healthy blood vessels, fights viral infections, and prevents scurvy. But those benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Collagen is the supportive matrix of most tissues in the body, which are all connected tissue and it is particularly important for forming a barrier to infectious microorganisms. It also helps contain malignant tumors, which are constantly trying to invade normal tissues, and support all organs and blood vessels.
When vitamin C is deficient, collagen formation and repair is weakened. This can lead to a great many disorders, including swelling of the ankles, small hemorrhage under the skin, and skin that just seems to hang loosely off the body.
Collagen also forms the matrix for the bones that is required for bone healing. When the collagen weakens around blood vessels, it can lead to such things as hemorrhoids and veracious veins. Weakening can also result in an aneurysm, which is the widening or ballooning of an artery due to weakness of the vessel wall. I suspect that many of my patients, I have seen over the years, had a long term vitamin C deficiency and suffered clinical deficiency long before they developed disease.
STRESS DEPLETES VITAMIN C
As people age, most will develop progressive vitamin C deficiency. Elderly people with small hemorrhages just under the skin of their hands and forearms suffer from advanced deficiencies.
Most are also deficient in the number of flavonoids, which also play a part in strengthening the blood vessels.
I have also noticed that people that suffer from recurrent hemorrhoids are often vitamin C deficient and that supplementation reduces these painful episodes and disorders.
ANTIOXIDANTS ARE MORE EFFECTIVE WHEN USED TOGETHER
Most people know that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, but it is just one part of the antioxidant network. In high doses as discussed below, it can have a pro-oxidant effect and actually has been shown, in clinical studies, to kill cancer. It is currently under review in an investigational research board under the Nation Institute of Health.
HOW BLOOD VESSELS REGULATE BLOOD FLOW AND VITAMIN C IS ESSENTIAL
Blood vessels are not merely stiff tubes, but they dilate and contract as our heart pumps. The unfortunate thing is that as we age they become less elastic and there is ensuing high blood pressure with end organ disease of the brain and kidneys, as well as heart. Vitamin C is necessary for optimum circulation health.
POWERFUL PROTECTION FOR THE HEART
Recent research has shown that deficiencies of vitamin C are associated with higher rates of atherosclerosis and can lead to heart attack and strokes. Using several different animal models, researchers found that vitamin C deficiency dramatically increased atherosclerosis and raised cholesterol levels. For example, vitamin C can relax vessels and lower elevated blood pressure.
In one random large, double blind, multicenter study of 800 heart attack patients, it was found that those receiving high dose intravenous vitamin C had far less risk of heart failure, recurrent heat attacks and death, than those treated with conventional methods.
INTRAVENOUS VITAMIN C FOR INFECTION
A new book, Primal Panacea, written by a cardiologist Thomas E. Levy, M.D., demonstrates some of the incredible uses for vitamin C. Dr. Levy recounted a case that appeared on New Zealand television in 2010. This was during the H1N1 flu epidemic of 2009, and there was a farmer from New Zealand who developed an overwhelming pneumonia with fluid in his lungs. The patient was placed on respiratory ventilator in the ICU and given antibiotics and other supportive drugs.
Unfortunately, none of these medical efforts were working and the man went into a coma for four weeks on his respirator. At that time, his doctor concluded that he would not survive.
Fortunately, the man’s family did not accept his death sentence, and asked that he be given large doses of intravenous vitamin C. His doctors allowed it, yet warned them that there would be no benefit. BUT AFTER ONLY TWO 25 GRAM INFUSIONS OF VITAMIN C INTRAVENOUSLY, THE FARMER’S LUNGS BEGAN TO CLEAR SIGNIFICANTLY, AS DEMONSTRATED ON A CHEST X-RAY.
He was then given 100 grams per day and within a few days improved so much he was able to be weaned off the respirator. Later the hospital withdrew the vitamin C drip and the patient got worse. At that point, it took family intervention with an attorney to force the hospital to resume the vitamin C treatment. The end of the story is that the man walked out of the hospital, not only cured of his lung infection, but also his underlying leukemia.
SEPSIS POISONS TISSUE AND ORGANS
Sepsis can range from minor to severe, with the most common cases involving complications such as edema, lung failure, falling blood pressure, and failure of multiple organs.
Studies have shown that patients often coming to the hospital with low antioxidant vitamin levels and that the condition gets much worse the longer they are in the hospital. Patients in the hospital are under severe stress and there is a rapid depletion of vitamin C. Also, it has been shown that inflammation; both acute and chronic has been shown to inhibit the uptake of vitamin C by the cells lining the blood vessels, called endothelial cells. These important cells control most of the functions of blood vessels including regulation and vessel dilation and constriction, metabolism within the walls of the blood vessel and protection against free radicals and prevention of leakage from the blood vessel.
VITAMIN C IS ESSENTIAL TO THE HEALTH OF THE BLOOD VESSEL.
It must be inside those endothelial cells to protect them and keep the vessel functioning properly. Studies have shown that vitamin C improves the function of smaller blood vessels in the heart. These are the blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to all the cells body.
VITAMIN C AND THE GENE CONNECTION
Vitamin C affects numerous genes that have to do with inflammation, and inhibits the enzyme NADPH oxidase, which protects blood vessels from powerful free radicals. Importantly, intravenous vitamin C reduces leakage of fluid from blood vessels, the process called edema. It also reduces pulmonary edema, a condition where the lungs fill up with fluid; which is the major killer of patients in the ICU.
FIGHTING BOWEL INFECTION
Sometimes people develop a condition that can lead to overwhelming infection with a number of nasty bacterial, all at once, called pathogenic bacteria. Such a condition is called intestinal strangulation or mesenteric thrombosis.
A similar condition is the perforation of the bowel wall. When this condition occurs, hundreds of bacteria contaminate the inside of the abdomen and eventually go to the blood stream. In a study using cecal ligation, polymicrobial sepsis (COP), vitamin C when given intravenously in a high dose lowered the death rate of these animals. WHAT RESEARCHERS HAD FOUND IS THAT INTRAVENOUS VITAMIN C REVERSES THE BLOCKAGE OF THE MICRO VESSELS THAT IS SEEN IN SOME CASE AS SEPSIS. Even more importantly, the beneficial effects of vitamin C were rapid and continued long after the intravenous treatment was given.
Vitamin C prevents and even reverses tetrahydrobiopterin oxidation, and therefore increases beneficial nitric oxide content in the blood vessel, with vascular dilation.
Injection of intravenous vitamin C six hours after sepsis caused a dramatic improvement in blood flow in the micro vessels as early as ten minutes after its administration.
Improved production of nitric oxide by the endothelial cells of the blood vessel dramatically improved the blood flow and even prevents atherosclerosis.
VITAMIN C AND THE BRAIN
Because of the ability to strengthen collagen, vitamin C may also prevent brain hemorrhage, especially in newborns and the elderly. I myself have always thought that vitamin C should be administered in these patients to strengthen their vessels and prevent further aneurisms.
Collagen is also important for the relation of the lining called the myelin sheath around the nerve. Studies on the affect of vitamin C on myelin demonstrate that high doses stimulate myelin formation and differentiation of Schwann cells which protect the neurons of the peripheral nervous system.
This may explain why some multiple sclerosis patients who are treated with high doses of intravenous vitamin C experience dramatic improvement.
Vitamin C can also be oxidized to form dihydro vitamin C, which can protect the brain because it usually enters brain cells, where it is rapidly converted back to vitamin C.
The vitamin C level in the brain is four times higher than the blood and during times of vitamin C deficiency, the brain holds on to its vitamin C very tightly. Both of these facts underscore how important this nutrient is to the health and functioning of the brain.
CRITICAL ROLE IN BRAIN DEVELOPMENT AND DISEASE PREVENTION
There appears to be an exchange mechanism between vitamin C and glutamate to the brain. This causes vitamin C to be released from neurons and glia when glutamate receptors are firing. As discussed elsewhere glutamate is severely neurotoxic and kills brain cells. Vitamin C stimulates the removal of glutamate from around the brain cells and protects the cells from excitotoxicity.
This may explain why large amounts of vitamin C are released from the brain when a stroke occurs. The vitamin C may be attempting to protect a damaged brain as well as oxidative injury.
Vitamin C also plays a critical role in formation of the brain early in life. Its level doubled during late stage pregnancy and it enhances maturation of embryonic stem cells into neurons. Interestingly in addition, vitamin C has been shown to enhance maturation of the synapses which connects it to brain cells.
Because of the high level of vitamin C in the substantia nigra (a midbrain structure that controls movement and other things). In view of this, it may be that vitamin C is involved in Parkinson’s disease. Vitamin C is also an inhibitor of the enzyme that destroys acetylcholine which is called and an acetylcholinesterase, and therefore may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. The brains of people with Alzheimer’s have deficient levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to reverse certain types of memory loss in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.
REDUCING THE SEVERITY OF STROKES
A loss of blood supply to the brain, as seen with a stroke, rapidly depletes the brain supplies of glutathione and vitamin C, both critical protective molecules. In experimental animal models, it was found that intravenous vitamin C reduced brain edema, a major cause for neurologic damage and death after a stroke.
THE SAFETY OF HIGH DOSE VITAMIN C
I have been using IV vitamin C for many, many years in different doses and I am convinced it is safe and effective.
There has been only one study of the side effects of high dose vitamin C ever conducted. The study found that out of 11,233 patients who received multiple doses of extremely high dose vitamin C, very few complications were reported. Most of the complications that were reported were minor and quickly reversed when the treatments were stopped. There were no deaths among these 11,233 patients, and only one confirmed occurrence of an oxalate kidney stone. The author of the study concluded that high dose intravenous vitamin C was “remarkably safe”. The one significant warning is that people with the extremely rare condition called glucose-6-phospate dehydrogenase deficiency should not take intravenous vitamin C, as it may lead to a massive breakdown or hemolysis of red blood cells.
VITAMIN C BOOSTS THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
The brain has the highest vitamin C content than any organ or tissue in the body, as well as the highest concentration inside its neurons.
Within the brain, the hippocampus and amygdala have the highest levels.
The hippocampus is concerned with memory and learning, while the amygdala is involved in complex pain and fear reactions. High levels of vitamin C in the brain serve more functions than merely acting as antioxidants.
When the neurotransmitter glutamate is released, vitamin C is also released in the same areas of the brain. Glutamate is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain. But it is also quite toxic to surrounding brain cells and neuron connections (Dendrites and synapsis).
The vitamin C that is simultaneously released starts protecting surrounding neurons from damage.
Recent studies have shown that vitamin C also plays a major role for special enzymes that manufacture other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
Dopamine helps elevate moods, learning, and motor control. Norepinephrine also elevates mood, as well as helping focus attention and regulating immune reactions.
People with Parkinson’s disease develop a deficit of dopamine in the part of the brain called the stratum. Recent studies have shown that vitamin C plays an important role in the brains manufacture of dopamine, and therefore may be useful in preventing or treating Parkinson’s disease. The importance of vitamin C in protecting the brain was further emphasized by a study in which mice were made deficient in either vitamin E or C and the levels of free radicals were measured. It is interesting to note, that the deficiency of vitamin C produce a much greater rise in free radicals.
In the adrenal glands, which also have extremely high levels of vitamin C, they are especially important to treat with vitamin C, in the adaptation to stress and it plays a critical role in learning.
Deficiency causes abnormal brain development. Vitamin C has also been found to play a major role in the development of critical learning, behavior and memory areas of the brain.
A recent study, using guinea pigs, found that deficiency of vitamin C after birth, impaired memory and caused the loss of neurons in the hippocampus.
Guinea pigs, unlike most animals, cannot manufacture vitamin C in their body, just like humans. They are totally dependent on their diet for this critical nutrient. This is important because many young women attempt to control their weight during pregnancy may be adopting a very low caloric diet, which are deficient in vitamin C. In my opinion, pregnant woman should take supplemental vitamin C.
THE ALZHEIMER’S CONNECTION
There is evidence that vitamin C deficiency also plays a role in Alzheimer’s. In a study of 32 Alzheimer’s patients with mild to moderate cases of the disease, researchers measured the level of spinal fluid and vitamin C levels and found that the ratio of spinal fluid to serum vitamin C predictive of cogitative decline. What I am saying here, is that the lowest level of spinal fluid vitamin C related to this serum cause the patients a more rapid deterioration. This study also found that damage to the brain barrier was a major factor in development of Alzheimer’s. Vitamin C plays a critical role in maintaining the stability of this brain protecting barrier.
Using animal models of vitamin C, researchers determined the vitamin C supplementation reduced the inflammation of a type of beta amyloid called Abeta oligomers, which is one of them most characteristic findings in Alzheimer’s dementia.
It also significantly reduced the inflammation caused by the brain plaque, and destroyed important substances needed to repair damaged synapsis.
Vitamin C supplementation can also reduce the extent of stroke damage in animal models. Low vitamin C in the brain impedes the repair process after brain damage and worsens excitotoxicity which is a major process in stroke.
Vitamin C also has been shown to reduce excitotoxicity caused by monosodium glutamate (MSG).
OLDER BRAINS FACE GREATER RISKS
Another neurologic disorder that appears to be improved by vitamin C treatment is seizures, at least in experimental animal models of human seizures. Several studies have shown that high dose vitamin C reduces the incident of seizures. More importantly, it significantly protected against brain damage caused by seizures.
Vitamin C may also help control complex pain syndrome. One of the most difficult pain problems to deal with is chronic complex pain syndrome when it is associated with fractures, which can lead to severe, unrelenting pain that responded very little to conventional therapy. A recent study in people with risk factors, showed a marked improvement in their pain.
The aged brain also has significantly higher iron levels and is at high risk for neuro generative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
VITAMIN C AND CANCER
As mentioned above, when given intravenously high levels of vitamin C in the blood generates production of hydrogen peroxide, which acts as a pro-oxidant resulting in some cancer cells death. This is described elsewhere in this site in great detail. In some laboratory experiments of human lymphoma cancer cells, hydrogen peroxide exposure resulted in cell death. Unfortunately, when given in oral doses this effect is not seen. It is only seen with high dose vitamin C given intravenously. In addition to the high dose vitamin C, I use vitamin K and other intravenous therapies as listed elsewhere in the Cancer section of this site. This includes other IV Therapies, as well as IV ozone, which is administered under an investigational research board. I am also currently doing chemo sensitivity testing from a specialized lab, which determines chemo sensitivity, cancer stem cells, cancer genetics, and sensitivities to natural substances.
Research has discovered that a highly concentrated dose of vitamin C is selectively toxic to cancer cells, meaning the high dose of vitamin C harms cancer cells but not healthy tissue. Yet, when this treatment was coupled with the addition of the enzyme catalysis the cancer killing effects of this treatment was significantly reduced. This lead researchers to believe that the high dose vitamin C infusion resulted in the production of large quantities of hydrogen peroxide, which initially caused the cancer killing effect that was then neutralized by the addition of enzyme catalysis. This suggested that cancer cells do not produce a sufficient amount of catalysis to neutralize high levels of hydrogen peroxide on their own.
In fact, we now know that a large number of cancer cells produce small amounts of catalysis in order to sustain low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. This creates the cancer friendly environment of mild oxidative stress that encourages the malignant cells to grow rapidly and become more aggressive. Fortunately for everyone, because the high proportion of cancer cells are only able to produce a small amount of catalysis they are very vulnerable to the cancer killing effects exhibited by high levels of hydrogen peroxide.
Dr. Mark Levine, an internationally acclaimed researcher at the National Institute of Health, lead a team of researchers to analyze the cancer killing effects of high dose vitamin C. They discovered that after a high dose and rapid infusion of vitamin C, large concentrations of vitamin C can be reached in the extracellular space. There, vitamin C reacts spontaneously with the molecular oxygen within tumors and can erase large amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is lethal to tumor cells that produce only small amounts of catalysis.
The irony here is astounding, for years vitamin C has been recognized as one of the most powerful antioxidants available. How can a substance with antioxidant properties produce levels of oxidative stress the patient to kill cancer? The answer is simple. The effect of vitamin C within the body is dose dependent. In fact, there are many substances that render very different effects depending on the size of the dose. Do not forget that the difference between a venom and a cure is often the amount.
Way back in the 1970′s the Nobel prize winning scientist Dr. Linus Pauling collaborated with British Surgeon General Ewan Cameron. They promoted the intravenous and oral administration of high dose vitamin C treatment for terminal cancer patients. Pauling believed that antioxidant therapy was the way to kill cancer cells. In two published clinical trials they reported that the patient significantly prolonged their lives and enjoyed improved quality of life. Pauling and Cameron used a megadose of 10 grams administered intravenously followed by an additional 10 grams administered orally. Many criticized him for such an irresponsible amount. In later years C.G. Moertel conducted controlled clinical studies at the Mayo Clinic and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that he was unable to replicate the results of the Pauling and Cameron study.
Many considered the case for high dose vitamin C closed. Nevertheless, thirty years later, researchers from the National Institute of Health found it necessary to reopen the case in the view of recent research. Mark Levine’s team concluded that C.G. Moertel’s studies failed because he only administered the vitamin C orally.
The research at the National Institute of Health has proven that in order to consistently achieve the concentration of vitamin C sufficient to provoke oxidation, a patient must receive dozens of grams of intervenous infusions of vitamin C. Oral administration is completely ineffective in this regard. A number of published studies with case reports show that repeated high dose intervenous vitamin C treatment yield objective tumor regression. These cases are so compelling that intervenous vitamin C therapy is generally being formally evaluated in clinical trials at the NIH.
In theory, high dose vitamin C should not cause toxic damage to healthy tissue because the body produces a sufficient amount of catalysis to efficiently neutralize the hydrogen peroxide dose. Our experience in the real world supports this theory. I have used vitamin C in hundreds of patients with no side effects; I currently do vitamin C myself. My protocol ensures blood and tissue levels of vitamin C that are safe and effective to kill cancer cells.
The question still remains why hasn’t the therapy worked for everyone? There are three variables that can undermine the effectiveness of the therapy. First, some people produce larger amounts of catalysis which neutralizes the offsetting effects of the hydrogen peroxide. Second, sometimes there is an insufficient number of catalysis to prompt the transfer of electrons. Third, sometimes there is insufficient amount of oxygen in the extracellular space, which is needed in order for vitamin C to produce hydrogen peroxide. That is, for now scientist have not found a way to successfully block the production of catalysis within tumors. However, we can definitely increase the effectiveness of this therapy by providing two supporting agents, that is electron transfer catalysis and tumor oxygenating agents.
Vitamin K3 is a synthetic form of K1 and K2. Vitamin K3 is used in pre and post treatments for low-dose chemotherapy as it prevents metastasis. It is administered just prior to the vitamin C infusions. It has been shown that the inclusion of K3 will markedly potentiate generation of hydrogen peroxide in tumors enabling a more substantial cell kill in those cancers that are sufficiently low in catalysis.
After you have read the above, you can now see that vitamin C is a multifactorial, multifunctional therapy, which I feel is needed for good health and to prevent disease and treat disease. I use standard intravenous protocols as developed by the Riordan Clinic, the same one used under the National Institute of Health IRB. Patients are monitored closely and all intravenous are performed by a registered nurse under my supervision.
If you feel you would be a candidate for intravenous vitamin C, or other intravenous infusions such as ozone, glutathione, phosphatidylcholine, Myers Cocktail, and others please call my office for an appointment. If you are suffering from cancer we have specific cancer protocols using intravenous curcumin, poly-MVA, vitamin C, and others tailored to your personalized needs.
Best in health,
Dean R. Silver, M.D.